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103 posts categorized "Election 2010" Feed

October 30, 2010

Vermont Yankee Sale: Trick or Treat?

IMG_1583 Talk about your October surprises: A blog post on the conservative website Vermont Tiger is alleging Democrat Peter Shumlin secretly favors relicensing the plant if it were sold to new owners and a power purchase agreement with Vermont utilities were in place.

Or so Shumlin allegedly said during a secret meeting with anonymous "businessmen" more than a month ago.

And this is news? An anonymously sourced blog post on a conservative website that consistently shills for Dubie is given credibility on at least two of the state's top TV stations by two of the better reporters? Really?

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading Vermont Tiger every day, even two or three times, for some insightful analysis and conservative perspective. But, given their Dubie drumbeat forgive me for being skeptical when they attempt to stray into the world of reportage.

Continue reading "Vermont Yankee Sale: Trick or Treat?" »

Vermont House and Senate Races to Watch

Unlike the U.S. Congress, it's highly unlikely that Democrats will lose control of either the Vermont House and Senate, but the GOP could begin to close what is now an enormous gap between themselves and their rivals.

In the Senate, Democrats hold a 23 to 7 edge over the Republicans, while in the House the Democrats have 95 of 150 seats; Republicans hold 47 seats; Progressives five, and there are three independents.

In short, Dems have a “super” majority — enough votes to muster a two-thirds vote to override any potential gubernatorial veto. They proved that last year by overriding Gov. Jim Douglas' vetoes of gay marriage and the state budget.

Continue reading "Vermont House and Senate Races to Watch" »

October 29, 2010

Regional Chamber Chief Says U.S. Chamber Ads in "Bad Taste"

Logo Across the country, regional chambers of commerce are distancing themselves from the role being played in the national elections by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

A report on the alt-news website AlterNet found that a number of local chapters have publically disavowed the national chamber's tactics and its heavy-handed support for Republicans. Especially in states where the chamber is advertising, such as neighborhing New Hampshire and upstate New York.

The U.S. Chamber is not advertising in Vermont, but the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce has received a number of questions and concerns from its 2500 members about its affiliation with the national group. In response, executive director Tom Torti issued a letter to its members (see below).

"We have heard from members that are unhappy with the positions taken by the U.S. Chamber. Our perspective is that they have a right to weigh in as their organization sees fit based on their process for deciding those things," Torti told Seven Days. "It's important to note that we do not always agree with the U.S. Chamber's views; however, we do remain members in order to access research and publications. We also receive regular updates on what is happening in Washington. The updates are fairly nonpartisan and fact based."

Continue reading "Regional Chamber Chief Says U.S. Chamber Ads in "Bad Taste"" »

Firefighters Feeling Burned by Dubie?

Firefighters5 The Professional Firefighters of Vermont have been increasing their visibility this week in get-out-the-vote efforts for local House and Senate candidates as well as two Democrats running for statewide office.

They've cut a radio ad for Democrat Jim Condos, the candidate they are supporting for Secretary of State, that includes GOP Sen. Vince Illuzzi (R-Essex/Orleans), and are making phone calls for Democrat Steve Howard, who is running for lieutenant governor.

What about Republican Brian Dubie?

"We are assessing internally how we're going to distribute our resources to our candidates as we head into the final weekend," said Matt Vinci, president of the PFV. "We are doing a lot of work for our secretary of state and lieutenant governor candidates, and our efforts across the board and we have we're involved in legislative races and we're going to be out there working for candidates."

Continue reading "Firefighters Feeling Burned by Dubie?" »

October 28, 2010

Energy Exec Tells Dubie: Prove Allegations or Drop Them

F-greenmiles1 * updated below - Blittersdorf files lawsuit*

A leading supporter of Democrat Peter Shumlin is appealing personally to Republican Brian Dubie to either prove allegations of corruption and trading campaign contributions for receiving tax credits or drop the issue.

David Blittersdorf, a cofounder of NRG Systems and now the chief executive at AllEarth Renewables, talked to Dubie personally Monday night and asked him to drop repeated claims that Blittersdorf provided campaIgn contributions to Shumlin in exchange for a seat on a board that eventually provided his firm with $4.3 million in tax credits.

This is the second time in a week that the Dubie campaign has been confronted about allegations it has posted on a campaign-funded website that lists what it considers "ethical lapses" by Shumlin.

Continue reading "Energy Exec Tells Dubie: Prove Allegations or Drop Them" »

October 27, 2010

Judge Orders State to Release Auditor Tom Salmon's DUI Video

* updated below *

In a five-page ruling issued late this afternoon, Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford ordered the state Department of Public Safety to release the roadside video of Auditor Tom Salmon's DUI traffic stop.

The state has until 4:30 p.m. Thursday to release the video to Burlington attorney John Franco. The state's attorneys could not be reached for comment about the ruling, or whether they will ask to stay the judge's order.

Franco, a supporter of Salmon's general election challenger Doug Hoffer, a Democrat-Progressive, ordered the DUI video from the DPS website back in early September. Initially the request was granted, and his credit card was charged $45 for a copy. Then Franco received word that his request had been denied by DPS Commissioner Tom Tremblay.

Franco appealed the ruling, was denied again — and then sued the state. First in federal court and then in state court.

Continue reading "Judge Orders State to Release Auditor Tom Salmon's DUI Video" »

Seven Days' Halloween/Election Cover

Cover-102710  Yes, those are gubernatorial candidates Brian Dubie and Peter Shumlin on the cover of this week's issue of Seven Days. Designer Diane Sullivan explains the cover concept:

This issue came out right before Halloween and the election, so we wanted to do a cover that combined both things. The same thing happened in 2008 with the presidential election. That year, I had an illustrator draw McCain and Obama at the door trick-or-treating with ballots in their treat buckets. I kinda wanted to give a nod to the McCain/Obama cover without it being too similar, so I got the same person, Kym Balthazar, to do this one. 

I was at my desk pondering (out loud, as usual) about the cover. I said something about having them both be Lady Gaga and Don [Eggert, Seven Days' creative director] told me that Lady Gaga and the cast from Jersey Shore were the two most popular Halloween costumes this year. For some reason, Dubie was the obvious GaGa. I was going to have Shumlin be "The Situation" guy, but then I thought they both should be dressed like ladies... and Snooki is pretty fabulous with that hair. 

Bingo, bango... a cover was born.


Independent Emily Peyton Withdraws from Governor's Race, Backs Shumlin

Emily Peyton Another independent candidate has dropped out of the super-competitive governor's race and endorsed Democrat Peter Shumlin.

Emily Peyton, a 51-year-old activist from Putney, told Seven Days today she is withdrawing effective immediately. She is the second candidate in as many days to back out of the race: Yesterday, Liberty Union Party candidate Ben Mitchell threw in the towel, saying he didn't want his votes to tip the election to Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who Mitchell calls "a far right ideologue."

Three other independent candidates — Dennis Steele of Kirby, Dan Feliciano of Essex Junction, and Cris Ericson of Chester — have all said they're staying in the race.

The departure of Peyton and Mitchell would seemingly help Shumlin as he battles Dubie for the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Gov. Jim Douglas. A VPR opinion poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc. earlier this month, showed Dubie getting 44 percent and Shumlin with 43 percent. Each of the five independent candidates were polling at 1 percent.

Continue reading "Independent Emily Peyton Withdraws from Governor's Race, Backs Shumlin" »

October 26, 2010

Socialist Ben Mitchell Drops Out of Governor's Race, Endorses Shumlin

Ben MItchell Liberty Union Party candidate Ben Mitchell has withdrawn from the super-close governor's race and thrown his support to Democrat Peter Shumlin.

In an email sent to the media this morning, Mitchell calls Republican Brian Dubie a "far right ideologue" because he is pro-life, opposes same-sex marriage and "supports shutting down schools and libraries in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest one percent."

As for Shumlin, Mitchell writes, "Peter is not a socialist by any account, but his support for single payer health care reform, his effort to move public resources away from incarceration and back into the community, his unquestioned support for equal protection for all our citizens — these positions make Peter Shumlin best candidate for Governor in 2010.

"I encourage all Vermonters to join me in this support," he concludes.

Mitchell is a 43-year-old English teacher from Westminster and father of two. His father, Mark Mitchell, is a Democratic state representative from Barnard who endorsed Shumlin for governor.

Mitchell did not run an active campaign. In a profile for Seven Days, he described himself as "sitting around for office." However, he did join Shumlin, Dubie and three other gubernatorial candidates onstage for the Vermont Public Television debate on Oct. 7. Wearing a baseball hat, Mitchell's "show of hands" routine produced some of the best, but least talked-about, theaterics of the campaign.

Continue reading "Socialist Ben Mitchell Drops Out of Governor's Race, Endorses Shumlin" »

October 22, 2010

New Political Ads Are All About "Choice"

McKenzie * updated *

Two days after Republican Brian Dubie dismissed women's reproductive rights as an important issue in the race for governor, the Republican Governors Association launched an ad featuring pro-choice women who support the lieutenant governor.

You can watch the RGA ad here.

The ad comes after Democrat Peter Shumlin and his allies — including  Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's Action Fund — have taken to the airwaves to assail Dubie's anti-abortion and social conservative views.

Though a recent Vermont Public Radio poll found that only 1 percent of voters ranked the issue of much importance to them when compared to the economy, the state budget and the enviornment, the issue has struck a major chord with women.

This Sunday, a pro-Shumlin, pro-choice rally will be held on Church Street in Burlington. At the same time, the Dubie campaign is having a pro-Dubie, pro-jobs rally at Battery Park.

Continue reading "New Political Ads Are All About "Choice"" »

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